NOISE/NOTES (Dec 2018)

By Eoin A. King, NNI Editor, and Eva Von Dell, NNI Social Media Assistant

NNI is on Facebook and Twitter—we try to keep our readers informed with noise news from all across the globe by highlighting interesting research and projects. Here is a roundup of some of the stories that have been making headlines. Follow @NNIEditor to stay up to date with all noise-related news.

New App Allows Users to File Airport Noise Complaints with the Press of a Button
A new mobile application has been developed that allows residents to make a noise complaint to local airport authorities instantly. It is specifically for the Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, but it could be extended to other airports around the world. The app, AEROplainte, was developed in an effort to make it easier for citizens who deal with aircraft noise at Trudeau airport to file complaints.

Active Noise Control for a Quantum Drum
At the Schliesser Lab at Niels Bohr Institute (University of Copenhagen), researchers have developed a technique similar to that in noise-canceling headphones, but for the quantum scale. The research addressed a key problem in quantum physics—at the quantum scale, any measurement actually disturbs the object being measured itself. To address this, they use a laser to monitor motion at a quantum level.

Diwali and Noise
The Times of India reports that Diwali this year was noisier than last year, despite claims that firecracker sales were actually down this year. Out of the 18 locations monitored for noise pollution by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, 17 saw noise pollution levels exceed the levels recorded in Diwali 2017. All firecrackers used for this celebration are subjected to a permissible limit of 125 dB.

Acoustic Camouflage to Evade Bats
Researchers in the UK have found that some moths have developed fur coats that serve as acoustic camouflage to protect them from the ultrasonic clicks of hunting bats. This fur can absorb up to 85 percent of the incoming sounds across the entire spectrum of frequencies used for bat echolocation. The work was presented by Thomas Neil (University of Bristol) at the Acoustical Society of America’s 176th meeting in Victoria, Canada.

Required Sound Insulation for Apartment Blocks in Malta
The Times of Malta reports that architects there are pushing for under-tile floor insulation in apartment buildings in order to prevent rampant noise pollution in the country. However, there is some pushback from developers, who favor the extra few inches of ceiling height.

WHO Release Revised Environmental Noise Guidelines for Europe
The World Health Organization (WHO) released update guidelines for environmental noise in the European region. Following the publication of WHO’s community noise guidelines in 1999 and night noise guidelines for Europe in 2009, these latest guidelines represent the next evolutionary step, taking advantage of the growing diversity and quality standards in this research domain. These WHO guidelines—the first of their kind globally—provide recommendations for protecting human health from exposure to environmental noise originating from various sources (including noise from transportation, wind turbine noise, and leisure noise).

Digital Noise Meter Results in Spike in Noise Complaints
In an effort to raise awareness of noise, the City of Edmonton in Canada introduced digital displays to present the current roadside noise level at four locations in the city. Unfortunately, the initiative had an undesired effect and saw noise complaints increase in areas with the displays. In fact, in one area the display was turned off within one week. It tuned out that some drivers saw it as a challenge and revved their engines to see their numbers on the LED boards!